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Meaning / Definition of

Hacker

Categories: Business and Management,

Nowadays the word hacker commmonly refers to a person who breaks into or 'hacks' into the secure computer systems of an organization, especially websites and online systems, using online connection, often just as a technical challenge, or potentially with intent to steal, destroy, vandalise information, websites, etc. Originally however the terms hack and hacker referred to a person who enjoyed exploring and experimenting - perfectly legitimately and legally - with computer code and related computing systems, out of curiosity or for purposes of technical challenge and improvement, discovery, etc. This is an example of how language and meanings evolve over time, particularly when a term becomes distorted for dramatic effect by mass media. Be aware in this case therefore, that some people - especially original 'old-school' hackers and computer code enthusiasts could be offended and unjustly maligned by the criminal implication of the common illicit hacking interpretation. Incidentally among coding enthusiasts the original technical term for a criminal 'hacker' was a 'cracker'. (Thanks to Vit Kavan, an 'old-school' hacker, for help in for clarifying this entry.)

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Definition / Meaning of

Flexible Spending Account

Categories: Retirement and Pension, Personnel Management,

Some employers offer flexible spending accounts (FSA), sometimes called cafeteria plans, as part of their employee benefits package. You contribute a percentage of your pretax salary, up to the limit your plan allows, which you can use to pay for qualifying expenses. Qualifying expenses include medical costs that aren't covered by your health insurance, childcare, care for your elderly or disabled dependents, and life insurance.The amount you put into the plan is not reported to the IRS as income, which means your taxable income is reduced. However, you have to estimate correctly the amount you'll spend during the year when you arrange to have amounts deducted from your paycheck. Once you decide on the amount you are going to contribute to an FSA for a year, you cannot change it unless you have a qualifying event, such as marriage or divorce.If you don't spend all that you had withheld within the year - or in some plans within the year plus a two-and-one-half month extension - you forfeit any amount that's left in your account.In some plans you pay for the qualifying expenses and are reimbursed when you file a claim. In other plans, you use a debit card linked to your account to pay expenses directly from the account.

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